Origins

When I was twenty-eight, I thought that I could magically transform my life in about a year and a half, and thus Project 504 was born–I picked something like twenty-one goals and then fourteen virtues, and, I don’t know, a thousand projects that, if accomplished in 504 days, would really ensure I was set for life as I entered my thirtieth year. It didn’t happen that way. I know you’re shocked.

What would happen is I would start and go hard in the paint for a couple weeks, maybe a month, and then flame out. And then half-heartedly keep trying. Maybe spend time making up a new system of values, of changing up some goals or timelines, and always counting 504 days away from some arbitrary starting point. It never stuck, and there’s quite a few really good reasons for this.

First, Project 504 was New Year’s Resolutions on steroids, on a rocketship, there was no way to suddenly change everything about my behaviors, relationships, and habits. Have you ever quit smoking? It doesn’t work unless you actually quit smoking. You can plan to quit smoking, think about quitting smoking, make excuses why you haven’t–but until it happens and it sticks, nothing’s going to change.

Second, Project 504 had unmeasurable goals. I think one was “become an expert on the Texas Legislature.” I think the real goal was, “Participate with the non-profits you volunteer with; understand and contribute to their legislative agendas; build relationship with representatives and senators; affect change on a local and state level,” but that did not fit on one line in the journal I kept. Other goals had metrics–weigh 200 pounds–but no plan and no expertise and no assistance, which leads to…

Third, Project 504 had no accountability. It was not just that I did not really tell anyone about any of the ridiculous projects and goals I was attempting–I did not hold myself to any standard, either. “I’ll try next week,” became a repeated mantra.

I guess this was more a post about Project 504, not Project 1827–what makes Project 1827 different is right this way…